If you’re an all-rounder interested in all kinds of magic, you’d do pretty well saving the Philosopher’s Stone. To succeed through the trapdoor, you’d need to be the kind of person who pays attention in class – and we mean all classes. Herbology, Charms, Transfiguration, Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts all had important parts to play – and it wouldn’t hurt if you were a bit sporty either given that’d you need to catch those flying keys on a broom. But you’d also be well suited to this book if you’re curious and tenacious. Harry, Ron and Hermione never gave up on finding out who Nicolas Flamel was – and it took an awful lot of hours in the library before Harry recalled the name from a Chocolate Frog card. Oh yes, and you’d definitely be more suited to Philosopher’s Stone if you’re a dog lover…
How do you feel about spiders? Deathday parties? Spooky voices in the old castle walls? Giant snakes that’ll kill you if you look them in the eye? If all of these sound like just another walk in the Hogwarts grounds to you, then you just could be the perfect person to solve the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets and confront the heir of Slytherin. Warning – this book is not for the faint-hearted, and it needs someone who is both bold and brave, as well as a person who has a certain disregard for school rules – remember you’d need to brew up some Polyjuice Potion! Alongside those traits, you’d also have to be loyal, because we’re not sure anyone could slay a Basilisk without a little help from Dumbledore and his feathery companion, Fawkes.
An impossible escape from a high-security wizard prison. A dead man walking the halls of Hogwarts on a map that never lies. A rat that has been in the Weasley family for twelve years. And a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher who is afraid of the moon. You’d be best suited to solving the mystery of Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew if you have a keen eye for small detail – a missing toe on a rat or a friendship between a cat and a big black dog, perhaps? Like Hermione, you’d suit this story if you’re the kind of student who really does their homework – remember how she looked up the Ministry register of Animagi? That’s some commitment. This story has some mind-boggling time-turning magic in it – so precision and cool intellect is absolutely key if you want to succeed in Prisoner of Azkaban.
The Triwizard Tournament is one of the most notorious and perilous competitions in the wizarding world, and if that doesn’t want to make you run the other way then you could be a contender for the twists and turns of Goblet of Fire. You’d need to be the kind of person with a lot of self-confidence, who is not easily rattled – Rita Skeeter would be bothering you non-stop – and be able to keep your cool through three extremely dangerous and challenging tasks. Not to mention you’d need to be a very skilled witch or wizard. To consider taking part in the Triwizard is one thing, but lifting the Cup at the end? Now that would take someone serious grit, determination and a competitive streak to rival Oliver Wood’s. Also did we mention there are fire-breathing dragons? Rather you than us…
Standing up to Dolores Umbridge and defying her petty rules is what Order of the Phoenix is all about. If bending the rules and setting up secret societies is your flavour of Bertie Bott’s beans, then this is the book for you. Are you the kind of person who would risk a place at magic school to fight injustice? Are you brave enough to start an underground Defence Against the Dark Arts society in the name of Dumbledore? To face down expulsion, Umbridge’s wrath and that nasty quill of hers, you’d certainly need to have some clever tricks up your sleeve – like those Galleons of Hermione’s – and you’d also have to be good at keeping secrets, as well as have nerves of steel. Oh yes, and there’s that quick trip – possibly on an invisible skeletal horse – to fight all those Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic to think about too. Bravery is certainly a must for this story.
When you’re cooking, do you always follow the recipe to the letter? Or do you like to add your own flourish and flair? If you found instructions for a twist on a classic chocolate cake, would you go for it? If you’re thinking, of course! Then this book might just be the one for you. The Half-Blood Prince guided Harry through many a Potions class and he wasn’t afraid to stray from the original Potions recipes and try something new. The Half-Blood Prince made up spells too, so you’d need to be brave (and possibly a bit reckless) to try those out too. Does that sound like you? Half-Blood Prince is one for the free-thinking creatives, but you’d also need to like solving mysteries. The mystery of what Draco is doing would need to occupy hours of your thoughts, as well as those Horcrux-related lessons with Dumbledore. And when it came down to it, would you have the confidence to go with the headmaster to hunt a Horcrux, or would you rather stay in your common room? If you’re with Dumbledore, then this book is for you.
It can’t be denied that Harry, Ron and Hermione were pretty selfless in the seventh book. Leaving the hallowed halls of Hogwarts behind, they embarked on a task set for them by Dumbledore that seemed – at times – both thankless and impossible. You’d need determination to thrive in this book, a strong sense of right and wrong, a pretty thick skin – remember all that freezing cold camping they did? – and also a sense that the world is bigger than you as an individual. This story would definitely suit you if you’re a team player and want to do what’s right, no matter how difficult. You should also be the kind of person who isn’t afraid to confront their fears – destroying Horcruxes isn’t all about being able to wield the sword of Gryffindor or a Basilisk fang, it’s about showing inner strength. If you’ve got that – then Deathly Hallows could be the book for you.